A man is in critical condition after he lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest at a sand and gravel pit in Baiting Hollow Tuesday afternoon, according to Riverhead Town police.
A 911 caller told police a worker was stuck in a piece of equipment at 1884 Sound Avenue at 12:12 p.m. The man had gone into cardiac arrest and CPR was being performed, police said.
The 40-year-old man “became lodged inside the conveyor belt housing of a plant screener that is used for sifting soil on the property,” police said in a press release.
Police officers and the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance responded and treated the man.
A medevac helicopter was initially requested to take the man to Stony Brook University Hospital, but it was canceled. The ambulance took the man to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, where he is currently in critical condition, police said.
The man was an employee of BGLJ Servicing Corporation, which owns the property and uses it for excavating material, Detective Patrick Waski said.
“The equipment occasionally, when being used, gets jammed up,” the detective said.
The man shut the machine off and crawled into a small opening to free what was causing the jam. While in the space, he got stuck and lost consciousness. His co-worker pulled him out.
Detective Waski said he was not crushed or compressed by the machinery in any way.
Detectives are continuing to investigate. A medical event was a possibility, but police would not comment further.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified of the incident.
Photo caption: The driveway to the gravel pit was gated and locked by Tuesday afternoon. (Credit: Tim Gannon)